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entitled 'International Affairs: Information on U.S. Agencies' Efforts 
to Address Islamic Extremism' which was released on September 19, 2005. 

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Report to Congressional Requesters: 

United States Government Accountability Office: 

GAO: 

September 2005: 

International Affairs: 

Information on U.S. Agencies' Efforts to Address Islamic Extremism: 

GAO-05-852: 

GAO Highlights: 

Highlights of GAO-05-852, a report to congressional requesters: 

Why GAO Did This Study: 

U.S. government and other experts have reported that Islamic extremism 
is on the rise and that the spread of Islamic extremism is the pre-
eminent threat facing the United States. In addition, various sources 
alleged that Saudi Arabia is one source that has supported and funded 
the spread of Islamic extremism globally. 

GAO was asked to determine 
(1) what efforts U.S. government agencies are implementing to identify, 
monitor, and counter support and funding for the global propagation of 
Islamic extremism, particularly support and funding originating in 
Saudi Arabia; (2) what U.S. agencies and other entities have reported 
regarding support and funding for the global propagation of Islamic 
extremism, particularly any provided by Saudi sources (private 
entities, individuals, and the Saudi government), as well as sources in 
other countries; and (3) what efforts the Saudi government has taken to 
address Islamic extremism. 

GAO submitted this report to the intelligence agencies, the Departments 
of Defense (DOD), State, and the Treasury, and the U.S. Agency for 
International Development (USAID) for their review and comment. The 
agencies had no formal comments, and their technical comments were 
incorporated, as appropriate. 

What GAO Found: 

The intelligence agencies, DOD, State, and USAID are implementing 
various efforts to identify, monitor, and counter the support and 
funding of the global propagation of Islamic extremism. The 
intelligence agencies and DOD are carrying out identification and 
monitoring efforts, primarily in counterintelligence and force 
protection. State and USAID are carrying out efforts to counter the 
global propagation of Islamic extremism, with Stateís efforts focused 
primarily on traditional diplomacy, counterterrorism, and public 
diplomacy and USAIDís efforts focused on development programs to 
diminish underlying conditions of extremism. We are preparing a 
classified report, to be subsequently released, with a more complete 
description of U.S. efforts to address the global spread of Islamic 
extremism. 

Examples of Agenciesí Efforts to Address Islamic Extremism: 

Agency: DOD; 
Efforts to address Islamic extremism: Collection and All-Source 
Analysis by Air Force Office of Special Investigations: collects, 
analyzes, and disseminates threat information on Islamic extremism and 
provides threat notifications that could negatively impact the 
protection of U.S. Air Force personnel and resources worldwide. 

Agency: State; 
Efforts to address Islamic extremism: Terrorist Exclusion List: places 
entities such as al Manar, the media arm of Hezbollah, on the terrorist 
exclusion list to help curb the propagation of Islamic extremism. 

Agency: State and USAID; 
Efforts to address Islamic extremism: South Asia Regional Program: 
intends to address the root causes of extremism through education, 
democracy, economic cooperation and development, and conflict 
mitigation projects. 

Sources: DOD, State, and USAID. 

[End of table] 

A number of sources have reported that Saudi private entities and 
individuals, as well as sources from other countries, are allegedly 
financing or supporting Islamic extremism. For example, in July 2005, a 
Treasury official testified before Congress that Saudi Arabia-based 
and -funded organizations remain a key source for the promotion of 
ideologies used by terrorists and violent extremists around the world 
to justify their agenda. However, according to the 9/11 Commission 
Report, the Commission found no persuasive evidence that the Saudi 
government knowingly supported al Qaeda. The agencies also told GAO 
that Islamic extremism is being propagated by sources in countries 
other than Saudi Arabia, such as Iran, Kuwait, and Syria. The agencies 
are still examining Saudi Arabiaís relationship, and that of other 
sources in other countries, to Islamic extremism. 

The Saudi government has announced and, in some cases, undertaken some 
reform efforts to address Islamic extremism. For example, the 
government is undertaking educational and religious reforms, including 
revising textbooks and conducting a 3-year enlightenment program, to 
purge extremism and intolerance from religious education. However, U.S. 
agencies do not know the extent of the Saudi governmentís efforts to 
limit the activities of Saudi sources that have allegedly propagated 
Islamic extremism outside of Saudi Arabia. 

www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-05-852. 

To view the full product, including the scope and methodology, click on 
the link above. For more information, contact Jess T. Ford at (202) 512-
4268 or at fordj@gao.gov. 

[End of section] 

Contents: 

Letter: 

Results in Brief: 

Background: 

Agencies Are Implementing Efforts to Identify, Monitor, and Counter 
Islamic Extremism: 

Various Sources Have Reported That Saudi Sources and Sources from Other 
Countries Support and Fund Propagation of Islamic Extremism: 

The Government of Saudi Arabia and U.S. Agencies Have Reported Saudi 
Efforts to Combat Domestic Extremism, but Extent of Saudi Arabia's 
International Efforts Is Not Known: 

Conclusions: 

Agency Comments: 

Appendix I: Objectives, Scope, and Methodology: 

Appendix II: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

Related GAO Products: 

Figure: 

Figure 1: Key Areas of Islamic Extremist Activities Since 1992: 

Abbreviations: 

AFOSI: Air Force Office of Special Investigations: 
DOD: Department of Defense: 
MEPI: Middle East Partnership Initiative: 
MWO: Muslim World Outreach: 
PACOM: Pacific Command: 
PCC: Policy Coordination Committee: 
TEL: Terrorist Exclusion List: 
UN: United Nations: 
USAID: U.S. Agency for International Development: 
USCIRF: U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom: 

United States Government Accountability Office: 

Washington, DC 20548: 

September 16, 2005: 

The Honorable Susan M. Collins: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable Joseph I. Lieberman: 
Ranking Minority Member: 
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs: 
United States Senate: 

The Honorable Tom Davis:
Chairman: 
The Honorable Henry A. Waxman:
Ranking Minority Member: 
Committee on Government Reform: 
House of Representatives: 

The Honorable Dan Burton: 
The Honorable Diane E. Watson: 
House of Representatives: 

U.S. government and other experts on the issue of Islamic extremism 
have reported that Islamic extremism is on the rise and that the spread 
of Islamic extremism is one of the major threats facing the United 
States. Some U.S. officials and experts believe that Islamic extremism, 
rather than al Qaeda--the organization responsible for the attacks on 
the United States on September 11, 2001--is the pre-eminent threat to 
U.S. interests. The Defense Intelligence Agency and other experts agree 
that the rise in Islamic extremism stems from various factors, 
including economic stagnation; a disproportionate concentration of 
population in the 15-to 29-year-old range ("youth bulges"), especially 
in most Middle Eastern countries; repressive and corrupt governments; 
and anti-Western sentiments, particularly due to negative perceptions 
of the United States' foreign policy. In addition, various sources 
alleged that Saudi Arabia is one source that has supported and funded 
the spread of Islamic extremism globally. Moreover, according to a 
report by the 9/11 Commission,[Footnote 1] some charitable 
organizations, such as the Saudi-based al Haramain Islamic Foundation, 
have been exploited by extremists to further their goal of violence 
against non-Muslims.[Footnote 2] Pursuant to the International 
Religious Freedom Act of 1998,[Footnote 3] in September 2004 the 
Secretary of State designated Saudi Arabia, for the first time, as a 
country of particular concern for its severe violations of religious 
freedom within its borders.[Footnote 4] The Department of State's 2004 
International Religious Freedom Report to Congress states that freedom 
of religion does not exist in Saudi Arabia and that basic religious 
freedoms are denied to all but those who adhere to Saudi Arabia's 
sanctioned version of Sunni Islam. 

GAO was asked to answer the following questions: 

1. What efforts are U.S. government agencies implementing to identify, 
monitor, and counter support and funding for the global propagation of 
Islamic extremism, particularly support and funding originating in 
Saudi Arabia?[Footnote 5]

2. What have U.S. agencies and other entities reported regarding 
support and funding for the global propagation of Islamic extremism, 
particularly any provided by Saudi sources (private entities, 
individuals, and the government of Saudi Arabia), as well as sources in 
other countries?[Footnote 6]

3. What efforts has the government of Saudi Arabia undertaken to 
address Islamic extremism?

For a more complete description of U.S. efforts to address the global 
propagation of Islamic extremism, see our classified report.[Footnote 
7] We obtained information from intelligence agencies, the Departments 
of Defense (DOD), State (State), and the Treasury (Treasury),[Footnote 
8] and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). We 
focused on these agencies primarily because of their missions and goals 
relating to areas such as traditional diplomacy (exercising diplomatic 
relations with other countries and international organizations), public 
diplomacy (engaging, informing, and influencing key international 
audiences), intelligence collection, counterterrorism (including 
terrorist financing), economic and humanitarian assistance, and 
governance (including democracy and human rights), as well as our 
initial review of information indicating that these agencies may be 
involved in efforts to address Islamic extremism. To determine what 
U.S. government agencies are doing to identify, monitor, and counter 
sources and funding for Islamic extremism, we analyzed relevant agency 
documents. To determine what U.S. agencies and other entities have 
reported regarding support and funding for the propagation of Islamic 
extremism provided by Saudi and other sources, we obtained and analyzed 
documents from various U.S. agencies. To identify efforts that the 
government of Saudi Arabia has taken to address Islamic extremism, we 
reviewed public information on the government's Web site and U.S. 
documents related to this issue. We interviewed officials from each of 
the agencies we reviewed as well as numerous outside experts. 
Information on agencies' efforts is incomplete because some of the 
agencies stated they wanted to ensure the protection of their sources 
and methods and therefore did not share such information. In addition, 
other agencies, such as the National Security Agency and the National 
Security Council, may also be undertaking efforts to address Islamic 
extremism. We performed our work from June 2004 through July 2005 in 
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. (See 
app. I for further details on our scope and methodology.)

Results in Brief: 

The U.S. agencies we reviewed are implementing a variety of efforts to 
identify, monitor, and counter support and funding for the global 
propagation of Islamic extremism. Agencies' efforts focus on Saudi 
Arabia but also attempt to address the propagation of Islamic extremism 
worldwide, including diminishing the underlying conditions of 
extremism. Agencies' efforts to identify, monitor, and counter sources 
and funding focus primarily on counterintelligence, counterterrorism, 
traditional diplomacy, force protection, public diplomacy, and economic 
and humanitarian assistance. For example, DOD is implementing efforts 
to monitor international terrorism that may threaten U.S. interests, as 
well as provide humanitarian assistance and promote civic action 
programs to "win hearts and minds" in areas vulnerable to Islamic 
extremism. In addition, State and USAID are implementing efforts to 
counter Islamic extremism, including the South Asia Regional Program, 
intended to diminish the underlying conditions of extremism through 
education, democracy building, economic cooperation and development, 
and conflict mitigation projects. 

A number of government and nongovernment sources reported that Saudi 
private entities and individuals, as well as sources from other 
countries, are allegedly financing or supporting Islamic extremism. For 
example, in July 2005, a Treasury official testified before Congress 
that Saudi Arabia-based and -funded organizations remain a key source 
for the promotion of ideologies used by terrorists and violent 
extremists around the world to justify their agenda. In addition, 
according to State's 2005 International Narcotics Control Strategy 
Report, Saudi donors and unregulated charities have been a major source 
of financing to extremist and terrorist groups over the past 25 years. 
The 9/11 Commission reported that despite numerous allegations of the 
government of Saudi Arabia's involvement with al Qaeda, the commission 
has found no persuasive evidence that the government as an institution 
or senior officials within the government knowingly supported al Qaeda. 
The agencies we reviewed also told us that the threat of the global 
propagation of Islamic extremism is emerging not only from Saudi 
sources but also from sources in other countries, such as Iran, Kuwait, 
and Syria, as well as from indigenous groups within some countries. 
U.S. agencies we reviewed are still examining Saudi Arabia's 
relationship, and that of other sources in other countries, to Islamic 
extremism. 

The government of Saudi Arabia has publicly announced and, in some 
cases, undertaken some reform efforts to address Islamic extremism; 
however, U.S. agencies do not know the extent of the Saudi government's 
efforts to limit the activities of Saudi sources that have allegedly 
propagated Islamic extremism outside of Saudi Arabia. First, the 
government is implementing educational and religious reforms, including 
revising textbooks and conducting a 3-year enlightenment program to 
purge extremism and intolerance from religious education. However, as 
of July 2005, agency officials did not know if the government of Saudi 
Arabia had taken steps to ensure that Saudi-funded curricula or 
religious activities in other countries do not propagate extremism. 
Second, the government is undertaking legal, regulatory, and 
institutional reforms to address vulnerabilities in Saudi financial and 
charitable systems. For example, according to the government of Saudi 
Arabia, and State and Treasury officials, Saudi Arabia is undertaking a 
number of charity reforms, including requiring all private Saudi 
donations marked for international distribution to flow through a new 
National Commission for Relief and Charity Work Abroad. However, as of 
July 2005, this commission was not yet fully operational, according to 
Treasury. In addition, in 2004, Saudi Arabia and the United States 
announced that they had jointly designated as terrorist financiers nine 
branch offices of the al Haramain Islamic Foundation under United 
Nations Security Resolution 1267. According to State, the government of 
Saudi Arabia also announced its intentions to close al Haramain Islamic 
Foundation, but in May 2005, a Treasury official told us it was unclear 
whether the government of Saudi Arabia had implemented its plans. State 
officials also told us that the government of Saudi Arabia had 
undertaken some political reforms, including establishing a human 
rights association to implement human rights charters and a center for 
national dialogue to facilitate discussion of issues such as education 
and extremism. 

Background: 

U.S. government and nongovernment experts use different terms to refer 
to Islamic extremism. They agree that no single factor accounts for the 
rise of Islamic extremism in the Muslim world and that Islamic 
extremism or its rise stems from underlying factors such as political 
and economic failure resulting in repressive and corrupt governments; 
external funding and propagation of fundamentalism and extremism, 
particularly by Saudi sources; anti-Westernism, with the United States 
seen as the primary source; the lack of a forum for moderate Muslim 
voices; and the emergence of the new mass media. 

Various government and nongovernment sources report that Saudi funding 
and export of a particular version of Islam that predominates in Saudi 
Arabia has had the effect, whether intended or not, of promoting the 
growth of religious extremism globally. In the 1960s, funding of 
religious outreach activities overseas became a central feature of 
Saudi policy through organizations such as the Muslim World League and 
the World Assembly of Muslim Youth. Activities of these organizations 
include providing medicine and food and building mosques, schools, and 
shelters. The Saudi donations to support its aid efforts and the spread 
of its religious ideology come from public and private sources and are 
channeled through a variety of foundations and middlemen to recipients 
around the world. Saudi Arabia's multibillion-dollar petroleum 
industry, although largely owned by the government, has fostered the 
creation of large private fortunes, enabling many wealthy Saudis to 
sponsor charities and educational foundations whose operations extend 
to many countries. U.S. government and other expert reports have linked 
some Saudi donations to the global propagation of religious 
intolerance, hatred of Western values, and support to terrorist 
activities. For example, Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda have Saudi roots 
and have accumulated millions of dollars using legitimate charities, 
nongovernmental organizations, and mosques, as well as businesses such 
as banks and other financial institutions, to help raise and move their 
funds.[Footnote 9] However, experts agree that it is difficult to 
determine the extent to which donors are aware of the ultimate 
disposition of the funds provided. Although the government of Saudi 
Arabia has undertaken efforts to better monitor Saudi donations, the 
problem of controlling such funds is problematic because much of 
Saudi's private capital is held and invested outside Saudi Arabia and 
is beyond the government's control. In addition, the spread of Islamic 
extremism is a global problem and Saudi Arabia is but one source of 
funding and support for Islamic extremism. 

According to a 2004 National Intelligence Council report, Mapping the 
Global Future, radical Islamists have aided violent groups in countries 
such as Afghanistan, Egypt, Iran, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia and are 
based and received militant training or experience in other countries 
such as China, India, Mali, Spain, Russia, and Turkey. Figure 1 shows 
key areas of extremist Islamic activities since 1992. 

Figure 1: Key Areas of Islamic Extremist Activities Since 1992: 

[See PDF for image]

[End of figure]

Some experts on Islamic extremism believe that a significant factor in 
the rise of Islamic extremism has been the failure of many governments 
in the Muslim world to address the overwhelming challenges of 
development arising from rapid social, demographic, and economic 
changes over the past century. According to the United Nations, many 
Middle Eastern and North African countries face enormous human 
development deficits, including limited political and personal freedoms 
and low economic growth. According to USAID, its research and work in 
the field also find that terrorism will continue to flourish as long as 
weak or predatory states fail to guarantee security for their citizens, 
provide access to basic services, and address the issue of political 
exclusion. Because of concern that these issues could sharpen 
extremism, the U.S. government has shown a growing interest in 
improving socioeconomic and political conditions in the region. For 
example, in December 2002, the U.S. Department of State announced the 
establishment of the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) as a 
Presidential initiative to support the administration's policy of 
promoting democracy in the Middle East and North Africa. 

U.S. officials and other experts believe that some U.S. policies have 
contributed to the increased threat of Islamic extremism against the 
United States. The 9/11 Commission report of July 2004 stated that 
perceptions of the United States' foreign policies as anti-Arab, anti- 
Muslim, and pro-Israel have contributed to the rise in extremist 
rhetoric against the United States. According to the Council on Foreign 
Relations, extremists have targeted the United States because of a 
belief that the United States supports authoritarian governments in the 
Middle East while promoting democracy elsewhere. These negative 
perceptions of the United States further stem from issues such as U.S. 
support for Israel and the U.S. military presence in Saudi Arabia, 
Afghanistan, and Iraq, as well as from other U.S. foreign policy issues 
related to, for example, the Afghan civil war, Gulf War of 1991, global 
war on terrorism, and Iraq War. Both Pew and Zogby surveys have 
revealed that anti-American sentiment among the Muslim population 
worldwide seems to be growing. 

U.S. agency efforts to identify, monitor, and counter the global 
propagation of Islamic extremism generally emanate from various 
strategies, including the National Security Strategy, National Defense 
Strategy, National Strategy for Combating Terrorism, and State 
Department and USAID Joint Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2004-2009. 
For example, one of the U.S. government's objectives stated in the 
National Strategy for Combating Terrorism is to "win the war of ideas," 
including reversing the spread of extremist ideology. In addition, 
these efforts are often included within broader activities, such as 
intelligence collection, traditional diplomacy, conflict prevention, 
public diplomacy, governance, and the use of instruments of development 
to diminish the underlying causes of extremism. 

Agencies Are Implementing Efforts to Identify, Monitor, and Counter 
Islamic Extremism: 

The U.S. agencies we reviewed are implementing a variety of efforts to 
identify, monitor, and counter support and funding for the global 
propagation of Islamic extremism. Agencies' efforts include Saudi 
Arabia but also attempt to address the propagation of Islamic extremism 
worldwide.[Footnote 10] Agencies' efforts to identify, monitor, and 
counter sources and funding for the global propagation of Islamic 
extremism focus primarily on counterintelligence, force protection, 
traditional diplomacy, counterterrorism, public diplomacy, governance, 
and economic and humanitarian assistance. 

Agencies Are Implementing Efforts to Identify and Monitor Extremism: 

Several of the U.S. agencies we reviewed are implementing a variety of 
efforts to identify and monitor the global propagation of Islamic 
extremism. Examples of these efforts include the following: 

DOD: 

DOD has implemented several efforts to identify and monitor the threat 
of Islamic extremism, including tracking facilitators and terrorist 
financing, as part of its counterterrorism force protection efforts. 
For example, the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) 
Collections and All-Source Analysis effort was implemented to collect, 
analyze, and disseminate threat information on Islamic extremism as 
part of its counterintelligence effort.[Footnote 11] The purpose of 
this effort is to increase the situational awareness of senior U.S. Air 
Force leaders and field commanders. According to AFOSI, it gathers 
threat information at assigned locations, synthesizes information from 
all available sources and provides timely and reliable notifications of 
threats that could negatively impact the protection of U.S. Air Force 
personnel and resources worldwide. 

State: 

State monitors and reports on incidents and patterns of governmental 
and societal discrimination, harassment, and abuse that are primarily 
or partly motivated by Islamic extremism. For example, State's annual 
International Religious Freedom Report and Country Reports on Human 
Rights Practices also cite incidents and patterns of governmental and 
societal discrimination, harassment, and abuse when they are primarily 
or partly motivated by Islamic extremism. State also issues an annual 
report on terrorist activities, including terrorist acts that may have 
been motivated by Islamic extremism. 

Agencies Are Implementing Efforts to Counter Islamic Extremism and, 
with Other Experts, Have Identified Particular Areas of Focus: 

U.S. agencies are implementing a variety of efforts to counter the 
global propagation of Islamic extremism. In addition, some agencies and 
outside experts have conducted studies identifying particular areas of 
focus that could address Islamic extremism. Many of these areas of 
focus have recurring themes and are similar in nature, and some are 
being implemented by U.S. agencies. 

DOD: 

DOD's Pacific Command (PACOM) has provided logistical support for the 
U.S. government's humanitarian assistance and civic action programs in 
Southeast Asia. According to PACOM, apart from having a general 
objective of relieving human suffering, the programs also aim to create 
a better view of the United States, particularly in places where 
negative perceptions of the United States are widespread. By doing so, 
these programs also contribute to the overall public diplomacy campaign 
to "win the hearts and minds" of the Muslim world. 

State and USAID: 

State and USAID are implementing several efforts, including the Middle 
East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), Muslim World Outreach (MWO), and 
the South Asia Regional Program, to address the root causes of 
extremism. MEPI seeks to expand political participation and increase 
the economic and educational opportunities available to the people of 
the Middle East and North Africa.[Footnote 12] MWO includes a Policy 
Coordination Committee (PCC), comprising representatives from State and 
USAID; the Departments of Commerce, Defense, Homeland Security, and 
Justice; the National Security Council; the Broadcasting Board of 
Governors; and other agencies. MWO/PCC was formed in July 2004 with the 
objective of encouraging informed dialogue with Muslim populations and 
thereby diffusing some of the tensions that might trigger terrorism. 
While some MWO/PCC efforts include Saudi Arabia, they also target 
Muslims around the world. The South Asia Regional Program is intended 
to address the underlying conditions that facilitate extremism through 
education, democracy, economic cooperation and development, and 
conflict mitigation projects. 

In addition, USAID implements some programs that seek to provide an 
alternative to political expression through extremism. Some of these 
programs include, among other things, providing former combatants with 
job skills to help reintegrate them into their communities, increasing 
small business loan services, and expanding banking and other systems 
to help businesses thrive. For example, USAID works with the Philippine 
government to strengthen the foundation for peace in Mindanao, where 
Muslim extremists have been engaged in conflict. In addition, in the 
West Bank and Gaza, USAID supports political stability and democratic 
governance through dynamic programs that bolster critical political 
processes such as elections, lay the foundations for the rule of law 
and a viable justice system, and promote a robust civil society. 

As part of its effort to combat terrorism, State has designated the 
media arm of Hezbollah, al Manar, on the terrorist exclusion 
list[Footnote 13] to help curb the propagation of Islamic extremism. 
State has also worked with other governments to try to ensure fairer 
and more accurate reporting on other Arabic language news outlets and 
to minimize their use as a vehicle for propagating extremist messages. 

According to USAID, it has published three parts of a four-part series 
of studies on the Muslim world to better understand the root causes of 
extremism and the dynamics in different regions. Studies on education, 
economic growth, and governance are finished. A fourth on philanthropy 
is near completion. Each study contains recommendations for USAID 
action. The first study was issued in June 2003 and contains 
recommendations for better support of the educational needs of the 
Muslim world.[Footnote 14] This study was conducted by the Center for 
Development Information and Evaluation in USAID's Bureau for Policy and 
Program Coordination, which examined the strengths and weaknesses of 
secular and Islamic educational systems in 12 Muslim countries. 
According to USAID staff, USAID missions in the Muslim world have used 
this report widely in planning their programs--for example, to include 
Islamic education in the Nigeria Mission's new Country Strategic Plan 
for 2004-2009. The study found that the best educational strategies in 
Muslim countries encourage both public (secular) and moderate-Islamic 
school systems to complement each other to reach all learners with 
enriched content. The study also found that, in some countries, public 
schools are the preferred educational choice of most parents, as long 
as they are affordable. In these countries, especially where there is 
concern about extremism being fostered in some Islamic schools, 
concentrating on making public schools more affordable for poor parents 
and increasing the number of schools in rural areas are a reasonable 
strategy. In addition, for the public schools, USAID recommends 
increasing the number of school-readiness programs, establishing a 
system of incentives to attract and retain more qualified teachers, and 
encouraging greater teacher commitment. USAID also said that for 
Islamic schools, there is a need to strengthen the quality of the 
secular education they provide and to encourage moderate religious 
teachings. 

DOD, State, and USAID: 

One objective of the National Strategy for Combating Terrorism is 
diminishing the underlying conditions that terrorists seek to exploit 
by enlisting the international community to focus its efforts and 
resources on the areas most at risk. The Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism 
Initiative is one example of a U.S. government multiagency effort 
involving USAID and the Departments of Defense and State that seeks, 
among other goals, to strengthen regional counterterrorism capabilities 
and promote democratic governance and human rights in the Sahel region 
of Africa.[Footnote 15] According to State, the Sahel region, due to 
its vast, low density geography, nomadic populations, and porous 
borders, is potentially vulnerable to Islamist terrorist groups. The 
initiative includes development assistance and expanded public 
diplomacy campaigns. 

Other Experts: 

Several other nongovernment and government experts have also conducted 
studies to identify areas of focus that could address the global 
propagation of Islamic extremism. 

Djerejian Report: 

A 2003 report, Changing Minds, Winning Peace--also known as the 
Djerejian Report (for diplomat Edward Djerejian)--addresses U.S. 
efforts to communicate with audiences in the Arab and Muslim 
world.[Footnote 16] Compiled at the request of U.S. lawmakers, in part 
to address the root causes of Islamic extremism, the Djerejian Report 
criticizes the absence of a U.S. voice in public discourse in the 
Muslim world. The report offers a number of recommendations to confront 
the problem and calls for greater human and financial resources to be 
channeled into engaging the Arab and Muslim world. The report argues 
that the United States needs to improve its ability to address the 
people of the region in their own languages, particularly focusing on 
the Internet and other communication technologies. In response to the 
report, State reinvigorated an interagency Policy Coordinating 
Committee (PCC), concentrating initially on Muslim outreach. 

9/11 Commission: 

The 9/11 Commission's July 2004 report contained various 
recommendations for reforming areas of U.S. public diplomacy. These 
recommendations included increasing resources for satellite television 
and radio outreach to Muslim populations (e.g., broadcasting efforts in 
Afghanistan and Iran); rebuilding scholarship, exchange, and library 
programs to reach out to youths; supporting a new International Youth 
Opportunity Fund; and measuring results from these endeavors. 

RAND Corporation: 

In 2004, the RAND Corporation published the results of a study[Footnote 
17] that built on previous RAND work on counterterrorism. RAND's study 
had several purposes: (1) to develop a typology of ideological 
tendencies in the different regions of the Muslim world to identify the 
sectors with which the United States can find common ground in 
promoting democracy and stability and countering the influence of 
extremist and violent groups; (2) to identify the factors that produce 
religious extremism and violence; (3) to identify key divisions and 
fault lines among sectarian, ethnic, regional, and national groups and 
to assess how these divisions generate challenges and opportunities for 
the United States; and (4) to identify possible strategies and 
political and military options to help the United States meet 
challenges and exploit opportunities presented by changed conditions in 
the Muslim world. According to RAND, the outcome of the "war of ideas" 
under way throughout the Muslim world is likely to have great 
consequences for U.S. interests in the region, but it is also the most 
difficult for the United States to influence. RAND suggested a number 
of social, political, and military options that the United States could 
focus on to respond to these challenges and opportunities: 

* promote the creation of moderate networks to counter radical messages;

* disrupt radical networks and deny resources to extremists;

* foster an education system that is relevant to the modern world and 
that produces graduates who can find productive jobs in the global 
economy;

* foster madrassa (religious schools) and promote mosque reforms;

* expand economic opportunities;

* support Islam within civil society;

* balance the requirements of the war on terrorism and of stability and 
democracy in moderate Muslim countries;

* seek to engage Muslim diasporas and Islamists in mainstream politics;

* rebuild close military-to-military relations with key countries; and: 

* build appropriate military capabilities. 

Information on the extent of U.S. agencies' efforts to identify, 
monitor, and counter the sources and funding of Islamic extremism was 
complicated by the following factors: 

* Interviews and documents revealed that U.S. government and 
nongovernment sources use different terms to refer to a form of Islam 
that promotes hatred, intolerance, and, in some cases, violence, 
fueling terrorism and creating threats to U.S. interests and security. 
These terms include "Islamic extremism," "militant Islam," 
"radicalism," "fundamentalism," "jihadism," "Wahhabism," and 
"Salafism." For example, DIA defines an "Islamic extremist" as "any 
individual or group using Islam to justify violence or terrorist acts," 
whereas the National Intelligence Council's report, Mapping the Global 
Future, defines "Muslim extremists" as Islamic activists who are 
committed to restructuring political society in accordance with their 
vision of Islamic law and are willing to use violence. U.S. agencies 
are continually refining their respective definitions of Islamic 
extremism as they acquire more information on the identifiers, motives, 
and sources of funding and support of Islamic extremism. 

* The agencies we reviewed do not disaggregate some of their activities 
to address Islamic extremism from broader efforts or goals, such as 
force protection, counterterrorism, and public diplomacy; therefore, it 
was difficult to obtain data regarding funding and staff for specific 
efforts. 

* The agencies do not distinguish between efforts or programs intended 
to target Islamic extremism indigenous to a country and those intended 
to target outside influences, such as Saudi Arabia. Thus, our reporting 
does not differentiate between agency efforts addressing internal 
sources of support and agency efforts addressing external sources of 
support; rather, we report on efforts to address Islamic extremism 
globally. 

Various Sources Have Reported That Saudi Sources and Sources from Other 
Countries Support and Fund Propagation of Islamic Extremism: 

A number of sources have reported that Saudi private entities and 
individuals,[Footnote 18] as well as sources from other countries, are 
allegedly financing or supporting Islamic extremism. However, U.S. 
agencies are still examining Saudi Arabia's relationship, and that of 
other sources in other countries, to Islamic extremism. For example, in 
July 2005, a Treasury official testified before Congress that Saudi 
Arabia-based and -funded organizations remain a key source for the 
promotion of ideologies used by terrorists and violent extremists 
around the world to justify their agenda. In addition, according to 
State's 2005 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, Saudi 
donors and unregulated charities have been a major source of financing 
to extremist and terrorist groups over the past 25 years. In July 2003, 
a former State Department official testified before Congress that a 
Saudi-based charity, al Haramain Islamic Foundation, had allegedly 
financed assistance to the Egyptian terrorist group Gamma al Islamia. 
In May 2004, the same former State official also testified that some 
half dozen of the most visible charities, including two of Saudi 
Arabia's largest, the International Islamic Relief Organization and the 
World Muslim League, have been linked to supporting Islamic terrorist 
organizations globally. In addition, a former Treasury official 
identified Wa'el Hamza Julaidan as a senior figure in the Saudi 
charitable community who provided financial and other support to 
several terrorist groups affiliated with al Qaeda operating primarily 
in the Balkans. Moreover, the 9/11 Commission report states that al 
Qaeda raised money in Saudi Arabia directly from individuals and 
through charities. 

According to the 9/11 Commission report, despite numerous allegations 
about the government of Saudi Arabia's involvement with al Qaeda, the 
commission found no persuasive evidence that the government of Saudi 
Arabia as an institution, or senior officials within the government of 
Saudi Arabia, knowingly supported al Qaeda. The agencies we reviewed 
also told us that the threat of the global propagation of Islamic 
extremism is emerging not only from Saudi sources but also from sources 
in other countries, such as Iran, Kuwait, and Syria, as well as from 
indigenous groups within some countries.[Footnote 19] A current DOD 
official and a former Treasury official told us that Iran currently 
poses a larger threat in this regard than does Saudi Arabia. In 
addition, indigenous groups have been a source of support for Islamic 
extremism. For example, the State Department terrorist list includes 
the Filipino group Abu Sayyaf, Algeria's Armed Islamic Group, the 
Palestinian group Hamas, the Kashmiri militants of Harakat ul- 
Mujahedeen, Lebanon's Hezbollah, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, 
and Egyptian Islamic Jihad. 

The Government of Saudi Arabia and U.S. Agencies Have Reported Saudi 
Efforts to Combat Domestic Extremism, but Extent of Saudi Arabia's 
International Efforts Is Not Known: 

To address Islamic extremism, the government of Saudi Arabia has 
announced and, in some cases, undertaken domestic educational and 
religious reforms; legal, regulatory, and institutional reforms with 
the assistance of State and Treasury; and political reforms. However, 
U.S. agencies do not know the extent of the Saudi government's efforts 
to limit the activities of Saudi individuals and entities that have 
allegedly propagated Islamic extremism outside of Saudi 
Arabia.[Footnote 20]

The Government of Saudi Arabia Is Implementing Domestic Educational and 
Religious Reform Efforts: 

The government of Saudi Arabia is implementing domestic educational and 
religious reform efforts, but as of July 2005, U.S. agency officials 
did not know if the government of Saudi Arabia had taken steps to 
ensure that Saudi-funded curricula or religious activities in other 
countries do not propagate extremism. According to the 9/11 Commission 
report, although Saudi Arabia has been a problematic ally in combating 
Islamic extremism, since the May 12, 2003, bombing in Riyadh, the Saudi 
Arabian government has taken steps to reduce official support for 
religious activities overseas. 

According to the government of Saudi Arabia, the Ministry of Islamic 
Affairs is implementing a 3-year enlightenment program in Saudi Arabia 
to educate imams, monitor mosques, and purge extremism and intolerance 
from religious education. The U.S. Acting Assistant Secretary of State 
for Near Eastern Affairs also said that the Saudi government's 
religious reform initiative involves a multiyear program to educate 
imams and monitor religious education. Treasury reported that the 
Ministry of Islamic Affairs had begun vetting domestic clerics to 
eliminate the radical extremists among them. 

In February 2003, the Saudi government reported that it had recently 
conducted an audit that determined that about 5 percent of school 
textbooks and curriculum guides contained "possibly offensive language" 
and that a program was in place to eliminate such material from 
schools.[Footnote 21] Speaking at the Counter-Terrorism International 
Conference, which Saudi Arabia hosted in Riyadh in February 2005, the 
Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs said that "we tried to eliminate any 
flaws or what might hinder progress and we tried to ensure that the new 
curriculum focuses more on understanding, humanity, and tolerance." 
Further, the final communique of the conference, known as the Riyadh 
Declaration, emphasized the importance of enhancing the values of 
understanding, tolerance, and combating ideology that calls for hatred, 
instigates violence, or justifies the terrorist crimes that are 
denounced by all religions and laws. In March 2005, a representative 
for the government of Saudi Arabia reported that the Saudi government 
is working to ensure that textbooks and teachers do not espouse 
intolerance and extremism. 

In an effort to educate imams and monitor mosques, according to the 
Saudi government, when imams preach intolerance or hate toward others, 
they are dismissed, punished, and retrained. In addition, the Saudi 
Arabian government Web site contains "Public Statements by Senior Saudi 
Officials Condemning Extremism and Promoting Moderation."[Footnote 22] 
For example, in September 2003, the Saudi government reported that 
former King Fahd bin Abdulaziz, in a message to the 19th session of the 
World Supreme Council for Mosques, emphasized the important mission of 
the mosque in Islam, which is to promote peace, tolerance, moderation, 
and wisdom. 

State and Treasury Have Assisted the Government of Saudi Arabia with 
Domestic Legal, Regulatory, and Institutional Reforms: 

State and Treasury reported that they have assisted the government of 
Saudi Arabia with implementing domestic legal, regulatory, and 
institutional reforms to address vulnerabilities in Saudi financial and 
charitable systems since about 2001. In May 2003, the Saudi government 
asked the al Haramain Islamic Foundation and all Saudi charities to 
suspend activities outside Saudi Arabia until mechanisms are in place 
to adequately monitor and control funds to prevent their misdirection 
for illegal purposes. According to the government of Saudi Arabia, 
State, and Treasury, in February 2004, the Saudi government created the 
new National Commission for Relief and Charity Work Abroad, requiring 
all private Saudi donations marked for international distribution to 
flow through this commission. However, as of July 2005, according to 
Treasury, this commission had not yet become fully operational. In 
2004, Saudi Arabia and the United States announced that they had 
jointly designated as terrorist financiers nine branch offices of the 
al Haramain Islamic Foundation under United Nations (UN) Security 
Resolution 1267.[Footnote 23] In addition, according to State, the 
Saudi government ordered the closure of the al Haramain Islamic 
Foundation. However, in May 2005, a Treasury official told us that it 
was unclear whether al Haramain's offices had been closed. 

In addition, according to the Saudi government, State, and Treasury, 
banking reforms have included restrictions against cash disbursements 
from charitable accounts, transfers from charitable accounts outside 
Saudi Arabia, and cash contributions in local mosques and cash 
collection boxes in shopping malls. In December 2002, to ensure that no 
funds reach terrorists, the Saudi government also established a special 
financial intelligence unit to track charitable giving. In July 2005, a 
State official testifying before Congress stated that the department 
continues to stress, in its discussions with the Saudis, the need for 
full implementation of charity regulations, including a fully 
functioning commission. The State official further stated that 
appropriate regulatory oversight of organizations headquartered in 
Saudi Arabia, such as the World Muslim League, the International 
Islamic Relief Organization, and the World Assembly of Muslim Youth, is 
absolutely necessary. 

The Government of Saudi Arabia Reports That It Is Implementing Some 
Political Reforms: 

Finally, as reported in public documents from the Saudi Embassy Web 
site and confirmed by State officials, the government of Saudi Arabia 
has implemented some political reforms, including reforms related to 
Islamic extremism. For example, the government established the National 
Human Rights Association in March 2004 with a mandate to implement 
international human rights charters. The government also established 
the King Abdulaziz Center for National Dialogue in August 2003 to bring 
together leaders to discuss issues such as education, extremism, the 
role of women, and problems facing young people. According to the Saudi 
government, some of the national discussions on extremism include 
topics such as "Characteristics of the Extremist Personality" and "The 
Relationship between Ruler and Ruled, Rights and Duties of Citizens and 
Their Relationship with Extremism." In addition, in early 2005, the 
Saudi government held its first nationwide municipal elections, which, 
according to State officials, is an important step toward democracy. 

Conclusions: 

Recognizing that the global propagation of Islamic extremism represents 
a growing threat to U.S. interests, U.S. agencies are implementing a 
variety of efforts to identify, monitor, and counter its support and 
funding. Agencies' efforts focus on Saudi Arabia but also attempt to 
address the propagation of Islamic extremism worldwide. Despite the 
lack of a common definition for Islamic extremism, several agencies are 
working to counter it by addressing the underlying conditions that 
facilitate extremism--for example, through programs aimed at 
humanitarian assistance, educational reform, economic assistance, 
public diplomacy, and governance, including the promotion of democracy 
and respect for human rights. 

Determining the resources that agencies have committed for these 
efforts is complicated by the fact that the agencies do not 
disaggregate data for some of their activities addressing Islamic 
extremism from their broader efforts or goals, such as force 
protection, counterterrorism, and public diplomacy. However, since the 
attacks on the United States in September 2001, some agencies' 
officials told us they have been devoting increasing resources to 
addressing the global propagation of Islamic extremism. Moreover, since 
the May 2003 bombing in Riyadh, the government of Saudi Arabia, with 
some assistance from the United States, has announced and, in some 
cases, reportedly undertaken a number of reform efforts to address 
Islamic extremism, including educational, religious, legal, and 
political reforms. 

Agency Comments: 

The intelligence agencies, the Departments of Defense, State, and the 
Treasury and the U.S. Agency for International Development did not 
formally comment on this report but provided technical comments, which 
we discussed with relevant officials and included in the report, where 
appropriate. 

We are providing copies of this report to the Secretaries of Defense, 
State, and the Treasury and the Administrator for USAID. We will also 
make copies available to others on request. In addition, this report 
will be available at no cost on GAO's Web site at http://www.gao.gov. 

Please contact me at (202) 512-4268 or fordj@gao.gov if you or your 
staff have any questions about this report. Contact points for our 
Offices of Congressional Relations and Public Affairs may be found on 
the last page of this report. GAO staff who made key contributions to 
this report are listed in appendix II. 

Signed by: 

Jess T. Ford: 
Director, International Affairs and Trade: 

[End of section]

Appendix I: Objectives, Scope, and Methodology: 

We were asked to determine: (1) What efforts are U.S. government 
agencies implementing to identify, monitor, and counter support and 
funding for the global propagation of Islamic extremism, particularly 
support and funding originating in Saudi Arabia?[Footnote 24] (2) What 
have U.S. agencies and other entities reported regarding support and 
funding for the global propagation of Islamic extremism, particularly 
any provided by Saudi sources (private entities, individuals, and the 
government of Saudi Arabia), as well as sources in other countries? (3) 
What efforts has the government of Saudi Arabia undertaken to address 
Islamic extremism?[Footnote 25]

Our work focused on the efforts of the intelligence agencies; the 
Departments of Defense, State, and the Treasury; and the U.S. Agency 
for International Development (USAID). We focused on these agencies 
primarily as a result of the agencies' missions and goals relating to 
areas such as public diplomacy, intelligence collection, 
counterterrorism, terrorist financing, and democracy and human rights, 
as well as our initial review of information indicating that these 
agencies may be involved in efforts to address Islamic extremism. 

To determine what efforts U.S. government agencies are implementing to 
identify, monitor, and counter support and funding for the global 
propagation of Islamic extremism, particularly support and funding 
originating in Saudi Arabia, we analyzed relevant agency documents, 
including the National Security Strategy, National Defense Strategy, 
National Strategy for Combating Terrorism, State Department and USAID 
Joint Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2004-2009; reports of the Defense 
Intelligence Agency; project documents; and specific country plans. We 
also reviewed more than 100 State cables identified through a State- 
performed search using specific search terms provided by GAO. Search 
parameters included cables dating from 1998 through 2004; various 
related terms (including "extremist ideology," "intolerance," "hatred," 
"Wahhabism," and "Saudi charities"); and countries such as Afghanistan, 
Albania, Bangladesh, Bosnia, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Mali, Nigeria, 
Pakistan, the Philippines, and Saudi Arabia. 

To determine what U.S. agencies and other entities have reported 
regarding support and funding for the global propagation of Islamic 
extremism provided by Saudi sources (private entities, individuals, and 
the government of Saudi Arabia), as well as sources in other countries, 
we interviewed agency officials and obtained and analyzed various 
documents. Those documents include State's cables; State's Bureau for 
International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs' International 
Narcotics Control Strategy Report; congressional testimonies from 
various departments such as the Treasury and State; the National 
Intelligence Council's December 2004 report Mapping the Global Future; 
the RAND Corporation's report The Muslim World after 9/11; and the U.S. 
Commission on International Religious Freedom's 2003 Report on Saudi 
Arabia. 

To determine what efforts the government of Saudi Arabia has undertaken 
to address Islamic extremism, we reviewed public information on the 
Saudi government's Web site and U.S. documents related to this issue. 

We interviewed officials from the intelligence agencies; the 
Departments of Defense, State, and the Treasury; and USAID. In 
addition, we interviewed former U.S. agency officials and numerous 
outside experts, including officials at the U.S. Commission on 
International Religious Freedom, Georgetown University's Center for 
Muslim-Christian Understanding, the RAND Corporation, the Middle East 
Media Research Institute, the Washington Institute for Near East 
Policy, the Middle East Institute, and the Muslim Chaplain at 
Georgetown University. 

As part of our work, we traveled to Indonesia, the world's most 
populous Muslim country. We interviewed numerous U.S. agency officials, 
as well as officials of the government of Indonesia, including the 
Ministries of Religion, Education, and Foreign Affairs. In addition, we 
met with officials of Indonesia's two largest Islamic organizations-- 
Nahdatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah. In Indonesia, we also met with 
officials of the Asia Foundation, Ford Foundation, International Crisis 
Group, Center for Strategic and International Studies, International 
Center for Islam and Pluralism, Liberal Islam Network, State Islamic 
University Syarif Hidayatullah Jakarta, and Australian Embassy in 
Indonesia. 

On the basis of our document reviews and interviews with agency 
officials, we compiled information on U.S. government agency efforts to 
identify, monitor, and counter the propagation of extremist Islam and 
then vetted this information with the respective agencies to ensure 
accuracy. 

Information on agencies' efforts is incomplete, because some of the 
agencies stated that they wanted to ensure the protection of their 
sources and methods and therefore did not share such information. In 
addition, agencies other than those we reviewed, such as the National 
Security Agency and the National Security Council, may also be 
undertaking efforts to address Islamic extremism. 

We performed our work from June 2004 through July 2005 in accordance 
with generally accepted government auditing standards. 

[End of section]

Appendix II: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

GAO Contact: 

Jess T. Ford, (202) 512-4268: 

Staff Acknowledgments: 

In addition to the individual named above, Zina Merritt (Assistant 
Director), Laurie Ekstrand, Barbara Shields, Simin Ho, Michelle Cullen, 
Bruce Kutnick, Mark Dowling, Philip Farah, Joel Grossman, Joe Carney, 
and Reid Lowe made key contributions to this report. 

[End of section]

Related GAO Products: 

Foreign Assistance: Middle East Partnership Initiative Offers Tools for 
Supporting Reform, but Project Monitoring Needs Improvement. GAO-05- 
711. Washington, D.C.: August 8, 2005. 

U.S. Public Diplomacy: Interagency Coordination Efforts Hampered by the 
Lack of a National Communication Strategy. GAO-05-323. Washington, 
D.C.: April 4, 2005. 

Homeland Security: Observations on the National Strategies Related to 
Terrorism. GAO-04-1075T. Washington, D.C.: September 22, 2004. 

U.S. Public Diplomacy: State Department and Broadcasting Board of 
Governors Expand Post-9/11 Efforts but Challenges Remain. GAO-04-1061T. 
Washington, D.C.: August 23, 2004. 

Combating Terrorism: Federal Agencies Face Continuing Challenges in 
Addressing Terrorist Financing and Money Laundering. GAO-04-501T. 
Washington, D.C.: March 4, 2004. 

U.S. Public Diplomacy: State Department and the Broadcasting Board of 
Governors Expand Efforts in the Middle East but Face Significant 
Challenges. GAO-04-435T. Washington, D.C.: February 10, 2004. 

FOOTNOTES

[1] The 9/11 Commission--formally known as the National Commission on 
Terrorist Attacks upon the United States--is an independent bipartisan 
entity created by Congress in 2002 to prepare an account of the 
circumstances surrounding the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks 
upon the United States. 

[2] Charitable giving, or zakat, is one of the five pillars of Islam. 
Zakat, a form of tithe or charity payable for those in need, is an 
annual flat rate of 2.5 percent of a Muslim's assessable capital. Zakat 
is broader and more pervasive than Western ideas of charity, 
functioning as a form of income tax, educational assistance, and 
foreign aid and a source of political influence. 

[3] Pub. L. 105-292. 

[4] Countries so designated are subject to punitive actions, including 
economic sanctions by the United States. This designation applies only 
to violations in Saudi Arabia and does not address any alleged 
violations related to Islamic extremism outside of Saudi Arabia. 

[5] In this report, "propagation of Islamic extremism" refers to the 
spread of an Islamic ideology that denies the legitimacy of 
nonbelievers and practitioners of other forms of Islam and that 
explicitly promotes hatred, intolerance, and violence that could lead 
to future terrorist activities that threaten U.S. national security 
interests. We derived this definition from various sources, including 
meetings with U.S. agency officials and outside experts, as well as a 
review of the literature on Islamic extremism and related issues. 

[6] Throughout the report, distinctions are made when referring to the 
Saudi government, Saudi private entities, and Saudi individuals. 

[7] We are preparing a classified report, to be subsequently released, 
with a more complete description of U.S. efforts to identify, monitor, 
and counter the global propagation of Islamic extremism. 

[8] Officials from Treasury's Office of Foreign Asset Control informed 
us that it identifies, monitors, and counters terrorism through the 
designation of terrorists, terrorist groups, and their support 
structures, including those that are Islamic extremist to the extent 
they engage in terrorist activities or support. Once terrorists, 
terrorist groups, and their support structures are identified, Treasury 
participates in the U.S. government's process for determining the 
appropriate U.S. government actions to apply. However, Treasury does 
not identify, monitor, or counter the support and funding for the 
global propagation of Islamic extremism as it relates to an ideology. 

[9] According to the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, 
Osama bin Laden's wealth came from his family's construction company, 
which made its fortune from government contracts financed by oil money. 
The government of Saudi Arabia put strict controls on Osama bin Laden's 
sources of funding after 1994. 

[10] Most of the agencies' efforts are classified and are described in 
our classified report. 

[11] According to AFOSI, Iran's Islamic Revolution in 1979 was a key 
event that marked the beginning of AFOSI's interest in Islamic 
extremism. 

[12] For further information on MEPI, see GAO, Foreign Assistance: 
Middle East Partnership Initiative Offers Tools for Supporting Reform, 
but Project Monitoring Needs Improvement, GAO-05-711 (Washington, D.C.: 
Aug. 8, 2005). 

[13] According to State, the Terrorist Exclusion List (TEL) authorizes 
the Secretary of State, in consultation with or upon request of the 
Attorney General, to designate terrorist organizations for immigration 
purposes. A TEL designation bolsters homeland security efforts by 
facilitating the U.S. government's ability to exclude aliens associated 
with entities on the TEL from entering the United States. 

[14] USAID Bureau for Policy and Program Coordination, "Strengthening 
Education in the Muslim World," issue paper no. 2 (Washington, D.C., 
2003). 

[15] The Sahel includes parts of Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Mali, 
Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Sudan. 

[16] This report was prepared by the Advisory Group on Public Diplomacy 
for the Arab and Muslim world and was submitted to the Committee on 
Appropriations, House of Representatives. 

[17] RAND, The Muslim World after 9/11 (Arlington, Virginia, 2004). 

[18] U.S. government officials and outside experts cautioned that it is 
important to distinguish among the Saudi government, Saudi private 
entities (such as charities and nongovernmental agencies), and Saudi 
individuals when discussing allegations of Islamic extremism. However, 
the distinction between the government's support and funding versus 
that provided by entities and individuals, especially in the case of 
Saudi charities' alleged activities, is not always clear. 

[19] Further details regarding Saudi Arabian sources' alleged link to 
Islamic extremism can be found in our classified report. 

[20] The National Intelligence Reform Act (P.L. 108-458, Dec. 17, 2004) 
contains a requirement (Section 7120 (b)) that the President submit to 
designated congressional committees a strategy for collaboration with 
Saudi Arabia, as part of a larger report on U.S. government activities 
to implement the provisions of this act. 

[21] The Saudi government statement we reviewed did not elaborate on 
what is meant by the phrase "possibly offensive language." 

[22] See http://www.saudiembassy.net/ReportLink/Extremism-Report-
January-2005.pdf. 

[23] The UN Security Council 1267 Committee oversees states' 
implementation of the sanctions imposed by the council on individuals 
and entities belonging or related to the Taliban, Osama bin Laden, and 
the al Qaeda organization and maintains a list of individuals and 
entities for this purpose. The council obliged all states to freeze the 
assets; prevent the entry into or transit through their territories; 
and prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale, and transfer of arms 
and military equipment with regard to the individuals or entities 
included on the list (S/Res/1267, Para. 6, (1999)). 

[24] In this report, "propagation of Islamic extremism" refers to the 
spread of an Islamic ideology that denies the legitimacy of 
nonbelievers and practitioners of other forms of Islam and that 
explicitly promotes hatred, intolerance, and violence that could lead 
to future terrorist activities that threaten U.S. national security 
interests. We derived this definition from various sources, including 
meetings with U.S. agency officials and outside experts, as well as a 
review of the literature on Islamic extremism and related issues. 

[25] Throughout the report, distinctions are made when referring to the 
government of Saudi Arabia, Saudi private entities, and Saudi 
individuals. 

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